How We Come to God

I think most people seek and come to know God when they are facing agony or are in  deep despair. Sure, it is possible for someone to be raised in a loving, healthy family, in a safe part of a town, and one day, while picking flowers, have a transcendent experience, a satori that comes like a sudden spark, an illumination. Sure, it's altogether possible.

But I don't think it's likely.

I think for most, we have no other choice but to come to God. We are suicidal, or just depressed. We don't know where else to turn once we've realized the truth of this world; that people leave, "love" hurts, and the idea that we're promised a good life if we're "good people" is a lie. There is nothing stable on which we can rest our sense of selves. In fact, we have no sense of self, other than the desire to fit in and please others. People come to know God after they've tried it their own way, only to be led down a road of misery, or at best, ennui with brief periods of happiness. Life feels Sysiphean: we push the rock up the hill again and again.

And so, one day, after excruciating pain, we wake up. It's God or bust.

We seek glory and resplendence and transcendence. We seek what's eternal. We seek what's timeless, what's effortless; we seek unconditional love that feels nothing like what we experience here on earth.

And some of us find it: the truth, that only God is real, and God is love, and it's always been there waiting for us to receive it. Everything else fades. People come and go. The job that once excited you becomes a bore. Your children move out. Your breasts start to sag. Your hair turns gray. Your friends don't care.

And there's God, saying, Welcome home. It's nice to see you, darling. Have a seat. Put your feet up. Stay a while. Whatever took you so long?

Jessica Leon